I have had a life long history of digestive troubles. Lower abdominal pain about 20 min after eating, cramps, pressure, usually followed by one or more bowel movements. Usually the first one is firm and fine, and then they get progressively looser and less formed. By number 5 or 6 (when there is nothing left), they look like coffee grounds.
I have traveled and lived in foreign countries a lot. I have a high stress job and the condition has always been aggravated by travel and stressful situations. I have had an endoscopic exam (years ago) and a colonoscopy about 2 years ago - they found a single benign polyp and some internal hemorrhoids (I was experiencing blood on the paper and stool). The doc said eat a higher fiber diet and don't strain.
The blood stopped, and the other symptoms went into remission for a good while (2 years). Now the cramps and multiple bowel movements have come back - usually at work about 20 min after lunch. Occasionally on weekends or at night, though usually just after lunch at work. I went to the doc and he listened to all of this and said IBS right away - no tests. He put me on Levsin 2 x a day.
That seemed to help the cramps for about 2 weeks but lately, through the holidays it has been getting worse - more frequent and more painful. My bowel movements are frequent and unformed. Sometimes it looks like bits of undigested food in there and sometimes it is even orangish in color, or with clear mucous. The cramps start almost immediately after I eat.
I eat a pretty healthy diet - lots of fruit and veggies, fish, high grain cereals. I hardly ever eat fast food. I do like to eat unusual foods, but not what I would consider unhealthy - sushi, octopus, Spanish dishes - sometimes a bit spicy. I also drink alcohol on a daily basis - probably a bit more than I should - maybe 3 beers or a few glasses of red wine. I don't drink coffee - tears me up, but I do have one cup of tea in the morning.
Some details -
I have had food poisoning on more than one occasion - one rather nasty bout from bad seafood in Europe in late October - they injected me with antibiotics and gave me Cipro. Also, I have lost about 15 lbs since June of 2001. The doc did blood work for liver and thyroid - all normal. Weight loss has stabilized but remains a mystery. I went from 163 to 148. I run 7 to 10 miles a week, work out 2 or 3 times a week, and am generally active. I have been doing this for years so the amount of physical activity has not changed. I am a white male, 41 years old.
So my question is should I just assume that this is IBS and right now I am in a "down phase" that will hopefully pass or should I take a more aggressive stance and ask for another colonoscopy, or tests for bacteria or parasites ? Lately this has really had me down, pretty much ruined the holidays, and been a general big pain in the butt (pun intended), embarrassing at work etc. Any comments are appreciated.
From reading your story and thinking for awhile--I can up with this shotgun approach. First: after developing food poisoning it can disorder your system in such way it may take awhile to get straighten out. I would start taking a probiotic supplement like "Probiotica" or PB-8 to help promote and balance of "friendly" bacteria in your digestive tract. I use both of these products and have found them as good as you there is on the market. Probiotica is produced by the same manufacturer as the maker of Imodium and Tylenol and they both work---well. It is the best I have ever used. It is made from mother's milk from Sweden, processed in Denmark and is known as Lactobacillus Reuteri----you can buy it at most drug stores even Wal Mart. I also eat yogurt daily that has live Lact. Acidophius and I take PB-8 on an empty stomach before bed.It has 8 other types of friendly bacteria present. If this doesn't help ---you could have a candida infection that needs to be dealt with.You may need to take Nystatin---a perscription fungus killer. There are several other on the market but Nystatin is considered the the drug of choice. There are others that work but not as well!!!
Another possible cause is you could have develped a trigger food or foods that cause you to have an upset stomach. My wife cannot finish a cup of coffee before having a BM. Of course the solution is to ID the oftening food and eliminate it or them from your diet.
I also am a big believer in taking a water soluble fiber supplement daily. It is safe and will bulk up your bowel movements. Psyllium seed husk works as well for constipation as it does diarrhea. It is a bowel regulator as well as a sort of cleaner for the folds and pockets of your digestive tract.Most people don't eat enough fiber in their diet anyway.
I hope this gives you some leads???
God Bless---Harry<p>[This message has been edited by Harry (edited 01-03-2002).]
Thanks so much for your response. I guess by the time you seek out a board like this and start looking for others like yourself and some answers, it is time to take treatment into your own hands. I am still taking the Levsin and being very careful about what I eat. Things are a little better the last few days. I am interested in the possibility of a bacterial imbalance or a candida infection. Can they test for that in a sample ? I plan to go back to my doctor and ask for tests and/or a referral to a gastroenterologist that specializes in IBS.
I could not find Biotica but I did find something called Acidophilus Xtra that has Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Bulgarirus, Streptococcus Thermophilus and Bifidobacterium Bifdum. I hope this is OK because I just took two of them ! I plan to visit a health food store and look for the P8-8 as soon as I can. Also, I am taking Metamucil twice a day - powdered form, and I just got a box of the cookie type.
Thanks again for you suggestions and concern.
One day at a time <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">
As far as I know there is not any test for Candidiasis. We have some candida albicans always present in our bodies.If it is out of control it can cause infection. Since it can affect various parts of the body, it can produce a wide range of symptoms including constipation& diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, congestion, bladder infections, night sweats, mood swings , depression, thyroid- adrenal problems, burning in mouth, itching and the list goes on and on. This problem is frequently miss diagnosed even by some of the best Doctors because of the many and varied symptoms. Candida survives on sugar including carbohydrates. So, it's best to limit your intake.
I have probably used every type of Acidophilus supplement available. Alot of L. Acidophilus bacteria is destroyed by stomach acids as well as heat so it is best to take it on an empty stomach several hours after eating. The one you have may work OK but not super well if it was not refrigerated. The only two that I know that do not require refrigeration is PB-8 and Kyo-dophilus and they both make a big point of this in their literature.
I think you made a mistake with the other name--- it is "Probiotica" not "Biotica" --I'll bet you couldn't find it!!! It also does not need refrigeration.
Harry<p>[This message has been edited by Harry (edited 01-04-2002).]